1931 High Trip




By Glen Dawson


Last summer Sierra climbing took a stride forward. Through the efforts of Francis P. Farquhar and Robert L. M. Underhill the art of correct climbing with a rope was introduced to some of us. The rope is intended for safety and not as a physical aid. Because of the increased safety by the use of the rope, Sierrans can make more difficult climbs. More and more we are becoming interested in new routes and traverses rather than in the ascents of peaks by easy routes.


July 12: Cathedral Group

There are a number of interesting short climbs south of the Soda Springs. On July I2th a party practiced climbing with ropes on Unicorn Peak.  




We went up the northeast face and came down the usual south ridge route, thus probably making the first traverse of Unicorn Peak. Only twenty-one names since 1921 were found in the register. The earlier records have evidently been lost. 

The members of our party were Francis Farquhar, Walter Brem, Marjory Bridge, Jules Eichorn, Alfred Weiler, Glen Dawson. Later in the day Julie Mortimer and Morgan Ward climbed Unicorn Peak.

Cathedral Peak Spire




July 19: Finger and Matterhorn Peaks


While the main party was at Benson Lake, Jules Eichorn, Walter ("Bubs") Brem, and I took a four-day pack trip. We went via Benson Pass and Tallulah Lake to where Camp Creek joins Slide Canon. After a night in Slide Canon we camped two nights by a lake below Burro Pass.   





July 19th we climbed the flat-topped east peak of Finger Peaks, but found it lower than the peak to the west which we climbed later. We were evidently the first party to climb these peaks.  



Eichorn & Brem

The climb to the lower peak direct from the lake has several difficult pitches. 


July 20th we climbed Matterhorn Peak. We also climbed the second highest point (Matterhorn Peak is the highest) of the Sawtooth Ridge. There was no record of previous ascent on this peak to the north. We left hurriedly due to an electrical storm.


July 24: Cathedral Peak

On July 24th two parties of eight each climbed Cathedral Peak. This is probably the largest number ever to climb the peak in one day.  


Eichorn Pinnacle


Glen wanted to name it "The Eich-Horn" 

Jules Eichorn and I were successful in climbing the prominent pinnacle down to the west from the main peak. We dropped a bit to the right and found a way up on the side toward Cathedral Lake. There was no sign of previous ascent. We roped down the seventy-foot cliff facing the main peak.


July 26: Echo Ridge (Matthes Crest)

 Walter Brem, Jules Eichorn, and I left the Soda Springs and went up Budd Creek, between Cockscomb and the Echo Peaks, to the long knife-edge known as Echo Ridge.   

We climbed the highest point from the east. It also looked possible from the west. The rock is weathered so as to be rotten and insecure. 


We found no record of former ascent.


Eichorn & Dawson

July 28:  Mount Florence 

Other Ascents.  Fifty-seven members of the Sierra Club climbed Mount Florence, in three parties, the leaders of which were Ernest Dawson, Lewis Clark, and Jules Eichorn, respectively.






July 31: The Minarets 



Jules Eichorn, Walter Brem and I went ahead of the main party to Garnet Lake. 


Garnet Lake

We crossed a tiring 12,400-foot pass between Mount Lyell and Rodgers Peak.  

July 31st we left the lake above Garnet Lake to explore the Minarets and, if possible, find the highest. We had a copy of C. W. Michael's account. 


Brem & Eichorn on Michael


We followed his route through the notch and up the chimney. The chock-stone which was his greatest difficulty we surmounted by courte-echelle to the "ladder with the lower rungs missing."  




We reached the top of Michael's Minaret two hours after we started in the chimney. 


Clyde Minaret


While on top I was under the impression Mr. Michael did not climb the same peak. (There were several reasons, one of which was it is impossible to see Iceberg Lakes and Lake Ediza from the portal.) But we later decided that the peak we climbed is undoubtedly the same peak Mr. Michael made a first ascent of on September 6, 1923.



 Another hour's travel brought us to the Third Minaret-a first ascent. We followed the ridge still farther and climbed Clyde's Minaret, the peak above Iceberg Lakes to the left of the glacier.


Michael from Clyde


By using a hand level from the three major peaks of the Minarets we found that Clyde's Minaret is the highest, Michael's Minaret the second highest, and Third Minaret, which connects the other two, is third highest of the group. There is, however, very little difference in the height of these peaks.


Down Amphitheatre Chute


Brem in The Portal



Michael Minaret


Ritter and Banner from The Minarets


We returned by way of Iceberg Lakes, keeping on the rocks and not going onto the glacier. We were out fourteen hours.  

on to:

The Palisades Climbing School